On television I either comment as an expert or run experimental demonstrations (above). The appearances can be serious, or fun, or often a compelling mixture of the two. The tenor of the appearance tends to depend on what kind of clothes I am asked to wear: business suit, lab coat, or a stylish shirt with a necklace.
Commentary topics tend to be on body language or music, but they can relate to all aspects of my research interests: from communication to art, and even sport. I was once asked by Jeremy Paxman how the English cricket team could improve. Honestly, Jeremy, if you have to ask an American about that, there really isn’t much hope.
Experimental demonstrations are unique experiments designed and made-to-order for the producers and clients — although I have also re-run classic experiments that still have the power to amaze people. The key thing to this mini research is that it is 1) highly visual, 2) on-time and 3) under budget. I never confuse this with my academic research, which is meant to influence policy or decision-makers; these TV moments are preliminary experiments meant as a demonstration. On some occasions I will undertake research to help commercial clients with marketing or to help with their customer insight; depending on the resources, this can be large enough to reach statistical significance.
Here is a partial list of the types and varieties of television shows that I have appeared in.